Running With Shin Splints
20 July 2015 | John
Shin splints are, basically, pain in your shin and these can have an especially devastating effect on runners. Due to the fact that long distance runners are placing their legs under a great amount of stress on a regular basis, it is inevitable that this is going to cause some problems or injuries. Shin splints are one of the most common complaints from which runners suffer and at Shoe Insoles, we are trying to remedy this. Our guide about running with shin splints is designed to help you work through the pain of shin splints or (ideally) avoid them altogether.
Shin splints can be caused by a number of bone or muscle issues however the bone cause of shin splints is much more common. This is where the bone actually swells and if irritated for too long can fracture. Once you start feeling the pain of shin splints, it is important to take steps to remedy the condition or you run the risk of becoming completely sidelined from your running.
Assess the Pain
With general shin splints pain, the area of pain is quite widespread over the front of your leg. If this is the case, then you should be able to carry on running with limited pain. However, pain in a precise area can be a sign of something more serious, and a lot of care should be taken. If you've recently started running, have ramped up your mileage suddenly or are running over more rugged terrain (for example, steep hills), these may be the base causes of your pain and can be remedied with relative ease.
At the start of feeling pain in your shin, you should think about slowing down. This can mean anything from cutting down the distance you run to lessening the intensity or speed of your runs. If you are running on cambered surfaces or over steep hills, this is another thing that it is wise to avoid. Try running at a 1:1 ratio of running to walking (5 minutes of walking to 5 minutes of running). If this is already your standard running to walking ratio, try a 1:3 ratio instead (5 minutes of running followed by 15 minutes of walking, for example).
Another alternative to this to ensure you keep exercising is to cross train rather than run. Because the injury is caused by irritating the shin bone, you can swim or bike instead of running to reduce the irritation of the bone while still keeping yourself and your legs in shape.
Ice and Massage
One thing you can do to help reduce the pain is to ice and massage the area. While there isn’t much evidence to support the idea that ice can help with the underlying condition, it’s hard to argue with how soothing a feeling it can give. If you are icing, hold it there for no more than 15 minutes and for 3 times a day. You should also ice after running.
Change Your Shoes
Shoes which have limited arch and foot support can help exacerbate issues like shin splints. Modern, minimalist trainers are a notorious culprit for this as they do not provide the support which is needed for running. Shop around in person to find the best shoe with the best support for you.
Even the best fitting shoes are designed for comfort, not support. By using a shoe insole, you can get the extra support your feet need. With extra arch support, shoe insoles can not only help deal with shin splints, but also several of the underlying causes of them such as overpronation (rolling the foot while running). Shoe insoles can also help against other overuse-related injuries such as plantar fasciitis, another notorious bane of the runner.
With all of the protection that is offered by Shoe Insoles, you can even prevent shin splints from developing. This is important because anyone dealing with shin splints will have to reduce the distance that they are running to effectively combat the condition. Prevention really is better than the cure in this case and if you are running on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to use insoles to help give you the best performance possible.
If you are interested in getting some shoe insoles to help with shin splints, head on over to Shoe Insoles and check out our range of Insoles for Shin Splints.